It’s really hard to believe that this show took place almost 24 years ago!
The music industry owes a lot to MTV given the game changing impact of it’s arrival, but the channel should also be recognized for some incredible music moments. The most powerful performance ever aired on the channel was the grunge band’s 1993 appearance on MTV Unplugged.
MTV Unplugged in New York is a live album by the American Grunge band Nirvana. It features an acoustic performance taped at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18, 1993, and first aired on the cable television network MTV on December 16, 1993.
It was one of the last televised performances of Kurt Cobain before his death in 1994. Below is Nirvana’s cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World”
As opposed to traditional practice on the television series, the band played a set list composed of mainly lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie and Lead Belly. Three of those cover songs belonged to the Meat Puppets, whom Nirvana had been touring with just prior to the taping. Cris and Curt Kirwook joined the band for performances of “Plateau,” “Oh, Me,” and “Lake of Fire”.
The band run through the 14 song brilliant set in one take, something unusual at the time for the popular MTV series, and the result is one of the greatest live albums ever—an unforgettable documentation of pure artistic genius! You can watch the unplugged version of “Come As You Are” below!
In the wake of his death with it’s funeral like stage setting and melancholic song choices, the show brings Cobain’s declining mental state into attention.
This was the first Nirvana album released following the death of Kurt Cobain. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and has been certified 5x platinum in the United States by 1997. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.
With Krist Novoselic on Acoustic Bass and Accordion, Dave Grohl with his stripped-down drum kit and Kurt Cobain hitting hard vocals on his swivel chair, this is one heck of a phenomenal performance! You can check out the entire set here!